Sometimes my job is a thankless job.
My job can be tough. I am self employed. That means I have to work hard and depend on myself to bring home an income to afford the basic things that are necessary in life.
I work evenings. I sacrifice my social life in order to accommodate times for families that work best with their own schedules.
I hide in my office. I spend most days editing, blogging, and posting to social media. These are things that are required to run my business. I sometimes work late into the night to ensure that clients can get their images back in a timely manner.
I negotiate pricing. With photography not being a necessary service I quite often have clients request discounts or say I charge "too much". While this is just part of the territory with my job I would never barter with other service industries. I don't ask my hair stylist to give me a discount because my hair is thinner.
I keep my prices reasonable. Although I get a lot of backlash from my fellow photographers I do not have my print prices marked nearly where they should be. I want to give my clients the opportunity to receive high quality products at a reasonable price. I have access to the top quality photo labs in the country and instead of making a huge profit I charge just over my purchasing price point.
These are all things that are truthful to my job territory. I'm not telling you because I dislike or resent the career I've chosen, I'm telling you because you need to see what photographers deal with on a daily basis. It's the cost of doing business and it's the job I would choose over and over again because I absolutely love it.
I wouldn't take back any of the sleepless stressed nights struggling with thoughts about the financial side of it. I love it all and my job is totally worth it when I get emails like this from my clients:
You see, what Rachel didn't know when she sent me this email was the frustration I was facing. I've been feeling less than par, that my new 2016 session structure is a flop, that my work is "just ok" and that I'm not actually worth my value.
Rachel gave me my confidence back. She reminded me about the most basic and simple reason I started this venture in photography.
She gave me life back.
I'm giving families memories. Memories they can cherish and keep of themselves getting together and just celebrating life. Laughing, singing, and playing together is something we often forget to do so when clients come to sessions it's a fantastic time to just relax and have fun together.
I'm capturing beauty. Most people don't like the way they look. I try to boost their confidence and improve their love of themselves. Everyone deserves to feel pretty and if getting dressed up and standing in front of my camera doesn't help, photoshop does the rest. ;)
I'm documenting life. How we're living, dressing and what we're doing today will be a drastic change in one hundred years so to document our lifestyles now is very important to share with our kids. Think back to your grandparents, I bet they can tell you stories about driving with horses or using outhouses. With technology everything changes and it's important to document those changes.
I'm making an impact. I'm doing everything in my power to make an impact in people's lives. To share compassion, caring and kindness.
So as I opened this email and began reading, I noticed tears rolling down my cheeks. Her words impacted me and made me feel human again. Made me feel like I was doing something good for others. I love meeting and getting to know the families I serve. To watch the kids grow and learn. To specialize each and every session and give back to the families. What Rachel gave back to me were just ordinary words. Words thanking me for doing what I love. She gave me hope that I'm changing people, maybe a small change. But I'm making an impact on other people and that's my goal here on this earth.
So next time you get family pictures taken, THANK your photographer. Thank them for the countless hours behind the lens, sitting in front of their computer, taking workshops and learning. Your images may float around on social media for a few years but if you take the time to print them, those pictures will last hundreds of years for your future family to cherish.
Nebraska Photographer, Nebraska Newborn Photographer, Nebraska Family Photographer, Nebraska Senior Photographer, Nebraska Child Photographer, Wilber Nebraska, Dorchester Nebraska, Crete Nebraska, Friend Nebraska, DeWitt Nebraska, Plymouth Nebraska
To book a session please contact us!
Dirt Road Photography
Dirt Road Photography
910 County Road 1500
Dorchester, NE 68343
Website: Dirt Road Photography
Facebook: Dirt Road Photography
Phone: (402) 826-9245
*Image credited to Tuesdays Together group members.